Betty Mathews of Parson, Tenn., says a Pit Bull attack on Saturday resulted in her needing over 300 stitches and facial reconstructive surgery, and the experience has changed her entire attitude toward dogs.
Mathews, 66, said her dog was tied to a tree when a neighbor’s Pit Bull dog suddenly got out of its yard and attacked him. She said she did not want to try to break up a dog fight but needed to protect her dog,
"I got a bucket of water, threw it in their faces,” she said, but that caused the black Pit Bull to focus his attack on Betty, lunging at her and ripping flesh from her right cheek and near her breast.
Parsons Police Investigator Joe Vaughn was the responding officer and said, when he arrived on the scene, a hole in the side of Betty Mathews’ cheek was exposing her teeth.
"They had to sew it back together and there were pieces missing," he told WBBJ-TV
Mathews was first taken by ambulance to Decatur County General Hospital, but her injuries were so severe she was later transferred to Vanderbilt. While hospitalized, she received cosmetic reconstructive surgery and more than 300 stitches, according to officials.
The Pit Bull’s owner, Jeremy Warn, said his dog, Cole, is a loving member of their family and has been for 14 years. He said his dog was tied up on Saturday, but it broke free. Warn is being charged with allowing a vicious animal to run at large.
Investigator Vaughn told WBBJ-TV, "We cannot authorize anyone to shoot a dog. But, at the same time, a property owner has the right to protect their property.”
Betty Mathews said her dog was injured from the fight and is staying with family members.
She said as long as her neighbor's Pit Bull is there she is worried about the safety of her neighbors.
The case has been turned over to the Decatur County Health Officials. The Pit Bull did not have current shot records and is under quarantine for 10 days. Following the quarantine, a decision can be made as to whether the dog will be euthanized.
The attack terrified Mathews so much, she has been calling the police station. Investigator Vaughn told WBBJ-TV reporters that Ms. Williams is very nervous, she's scared. (Another) little dog—which was not a Pit Bull--cut through her yard…and she called 911 so I went out there.”
"I want them to do something about that dog! I am afraid it'll get a kid or someone else," Betty Mathews said.
"I ain't never seen a dog do like that before. I been around dogs my whole life!," she said.